Andhra Pradesh has always been known for its rich culture.
This State has presented a wide range of Performing Arts including Dance, Drama and Music to the world.
Many composers of Carnatic Music, including Annamacharya, Khetrayya and Bhadrachala Ramadas belong to this State.
Modern Carnatic Music Composers and singers such as Ghantasala, Sujatha Puligella, and Balamurali Krishna are also of Telugu descent.
The Telugu film industry hosts many music composers and playback singers such as S P Balasubrahmanyam, P Susheela, S Janaki and P B Sreenivas. Folk songs are very important and popular in the many rural areas of the state.
Dance is the most interesting form of Performing Arts that has been encouraged from centuries in India. Kuchipudi, the renowned classical dance emerged from Andhra Pradesh.
The splendour of Kuchipudi
Amongst the best dances in the world, Kuchipudi is similar to Bharata Natyam.
Kuchipudi is an eminent dance form. It is not only a dance but also a fine amalgamation of dance, gestures, speech and song. In the 17th century, Siddhendra Yogi started this dance during the ‘Bhakti’ movement.
Bhamakalapam originated in Kuchipudi. It is presented in dance and drama format.
Other Dance forms
Besides Kuchipudi, there are many other dances and styles that originated in the State. Perini is an excellent form of warrior dance, stated to be the Dance of Lord Shiva.
Burra Katha (a special folk dance), Veera Natyam (Lord Shiva is believed to have performed this Dance, burning with fury over the death of Sati); Butta Bommalu (a folk dance popular in Tanuku region of West Godavari District), Dappu (a lively dance form that started in Nizamabad District, with dancers wearing colourful dresses and dance to the musical tunes of cymbals, Tabla and Harmonium) and Tappeta Gull (a devotional dance popular in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts).
Lambadi, associated with Lambadi tribe, is performed to celebrate the harvest season, while Bonalu is a special dance in which female dancers perform to the rhythmic beats and balance pots on their heads. This dance is performed to praise Mahankali, the village Deity). Dhimsa is the dance of the hilly region of Visakhapatnam district and
Kolattam is popular in most States of South and West India.
Representing Andhra Pradesh and Telugu Association of New Zealand at the Festivals of South India were Bhargavi Matta, Chandrisha Sarepalli, Kavya Itla, Sunitha Itla, Tarunya Srihari, Shravya Srihari, Manasa Goud, Pooja Chakilam, Sukeerthi Reddy Banda and Shradha Karankot.
Performers in the Kuchipudi segment were Abhishek Ravi, Bharani Vindamuri, Bhargavi Vindamuri, Sushma Kunche and Swetha Gopi.
Srilatha Magatala is President, Telugu Association of New Zealand, one of the Organisers of the First Annual Indian Newslink Festivals of South India representing Andhra Pradesh.
(Pictures by Creative Eye Fotographics)